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The Rolling Stones From the Vault: Hyde Park Live 1969

Studio: Eagle Vision

Jul 28, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

On July 5, 1969, half a million people, or so it was reported, flocked to Hyde Park in London to see The Rolling Stones. It was set up as a free gig, thus exact numbers were not available, but it was an enormous event. The concert took place two days after the drowning death of founding Stone Brian Jones, and it was the first show for his replacement, Mick Taylor. Portions of the concert were recorded for Granada TV in the U.K., and the result, a documentary of the event, replete with crowd shots, backstage discussion, and artist interviews, is reissued here as a stand-alone DVD.

The full concert performance started with Mick Jagger reading a poem of Percy Shelley in tribute to Jones, after which the band kicked off a 14-song set beginning with a Johnny Winter’s “I’m Yours & I’m Hers,” a number the Stones would never again perform live. The DVD here includes the Winter tune and seven other cuts from the show, in mixed up order interspersed among the other incidentals of the documentary. The shame of it is that the full 14-song set was not released. However, the event documentary is still very much worthwhile. In addition to performances of Stones standards like “Midnight Rambler,” “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” the set includes an early version of “Honky Tonk Women,” the first time the band performed that particular staple live, and a thrilling 11-minute version of “Sympathy for the Devil” featuring an ensemble of African drummers and dancers.

To put the performance in context, the free Hyde Park concert took place one month before Woodstock and five months before the disastrous events in Altamont. The Stones used Hell’s Angels as security for this Hyde Park show, and the images here of bikers with swastika-emblazoned garb eerily foreshadows the ominous events to follow several months later. But it’s interesting to note that, for all the fanfare surrounding Woodstock, Hyde Park came first and was a wonderfully successful event, bringing overwhelming masses together in peace and music. It also documented a brief period of time where The Rolling Stones were turning a corner, from the ‘60s pop-rock of albums like Aftermath or Between the Buttons to the heavier ‘70s fare for which they would become even bigger stars. Soon, as terrifically documented in The Marquee Club-Live in 1971 this lineup of the Stones would be perfected. With Hyde Park Live, we see a band regaining its legs after a disastrous loss and lineup change that in 1969 must have been filled with uncertainty, but in time proved brilliant. ( (

Author rating: 7.5/10

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altavoces pc
November 7th 2017

Nice one!